Manchester United supporters traveling to Anfield for Sunday's match against Liverpool will be given a letter written by Sir Alex Ferguson urging a waking of conscience in an effort to prevent any chants about Hillsborough on the day of a tribute to the victims.
The match will be Liverpool's first at home since the publication of a report revealing the wrong doing and police cover-up surrounding the death of 96 fans at Hillsborough in 1989. Both Liverpool and Man United have put aside their bitter rivalry to put together a tribute to the victims, but fears remain that a minority of fans on both sides will resort to chants about each club's respective human tragedies (Hillsborough for Liverpool and the Munich air disaster for Man United).
So Ferguson's written appeal will be handed to Man United fans attending the match. Though it doesn't specifically call for an end to hurtful words set to frivolous melodies, it's suggestion of what should go without saying -- common decency and understanding -- is clear. At least, to those who can be swayed by words on a page.
Ferguson's letter in full right this way...
Whether the letter works, even for a day, remains to be seen. But as long as people harbor hatred that gets mixed with frustration and a sense of helplessness, there will be some who say the worst things they can think of just to goad their targets. People can be terrible creatures, but they are far more often wonderful beings. Hopefully the latter drowns out the former on Sunday.